Ortega and the Sandinistas, along with a coalition of middle class and small businessmen deposed Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1979. The first thing the Sandinistas did – as any good little Communist would do – was to kick out the more moderate political partners who played a big role in the largely bloodless revolution, jailing some, and establishing a Marxist dictatorship. No other political parties were allowed to operate freely. Their rallies were broken up by black shirted thugs. They were denied air time on government controlled TV. Opposition leaders were routinely arrested, harassed, and beaten.
Almost immediately, he was opposed by former National Guard members who began an armed revolution that eventually – with the help of the US – forced Ortega to hold elections in 1990. Every lefty in America worth their salt traveled to Nicaragua to help Danny Ortega defeat the evil designs of the Americans. Ortega did his part by trying even harder to suppress the opposition, using his bully boys to intimidate and beat down – literally and figuratively – his opponents, led by Violetta Chamorro, publisher of La Prensa and leader of the National Opposition Union.
In the end, when given the choice between freedom and Communist tyranny, the people chose Chamorro. But before Ortega left office, he had his Sandanista legislature pass a law granting he and several of his cronies deeds to vast estates that were confiscated during his presidency. The theft made him fabulously wealthy.
In the intervening years he ran for the presidency twice and lost badly. Then, in 1998, his daughter shocked the world when she accused her father of sexually abusing her from the time she was 11 until 1990. Denied the opportunity to prove her case in Nicaragua, she took it to the Inter American Human Rights Commission which ruled the charges admissible. A settlement was reached with the government but Ortega’s daughter has never recanted the charges.
This is the man who stood in front of our president and railed against American interference in Latin America.
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